Ice Cream Flowerpots

The crème de la crème of my daughter’s American Girl Tea Party Birthday were these Ice Cream Flowerpots. They were all she talked about after visiting the American Girl Bistro for a friend’s birthday a year ago, so I knew they absolutely had to make it to the tea-table when we had our own American Girl party. They took a little time, but the delight on the girl’s faces when I brought them to the table made the energy put forth totally worth it!

American Girl Tea Party Molly’s Victory Garden Ice Cream Flowerpot

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American Girl Tea Party Birthday

After begging for an American Girl doll the past three years, my daughter’s greatest desire was granted her last birthday with the gift of a green-eyed, curly blonde haired mini-me. She promptly named her doll “Maddie” and they’ve been inseparable ever since. The gratification of at last owning an American Girl doll all of her own could only be topped by celebrating her birthday this year with a themed American Girl tea party extravaganza. She wanted all her friends to come over and play dolls with her, while enjoying a delightful (and very grown up) tea. So here’s my great big American Girl Tea Party Birthday post, complete with free printable invitations, menus, name tags and all the food and craft ideas you could hope for!

American Girl Tea Party Ideas and Printables - Bakerlady [Read more…]

Red, White and Blue Berry Trifle

I have no clue why it’s called a trifle. The word means something of little importance or value. This dessert isn’t anywhere in that neighborhood. It is gorgeous, fresh and delicious. My first experience with trifle was during a visit to Victoria during tea at Butchart Gardens. I devoured layers of soaked sponge-cake, fruit and custard all the while knowing the little dish of it wasn’t going to be enough. I’d have to recreate it at home.

Red White and Blue Berry Trifle - Bakerlady

Generally trifle is made with a sponge or pound cake, but for this slightly lightened version I used angel food cake. Since the light white cake has a delicate texture, I didn’t soak it in juice or liqour, choosing to simply brush a little Cointreau over each layer instead. You could use Triple-Sec or (for non-alcohol people) some orange juice.

Red White and Blue Berry Trifle - Bakerlady

I used a cookie cutter to make some angel food cake stars to make this a very patriotic dessert. It just seemed right with all those beautiful red and blue berries. It would be PERFECT for any 4th of July celebration.

Red White and Blue Berry Trifle - Bakerlady

The star of this show (ha-ha) is most certainly the homemade vanilla custard. Thick and creamy with the perfect sweetness. It is absolutely marvelous. You have to stir it constantly when making it, but it isn’t hard – or really all that time-consuming. Don’t be tempted by instant pudding in a box. Seriously. You have no idea how much more delicious homemade is. It shouldn’t be called the same food. Give it a whirl. You’ll be so glad you did! Look at it pushing thru all those beautiful berries. (happy sigh)

Red White and Blue Berry Trifle - Bakerlady

The topper for this berry delight is a delicious rich mascarpone cream. You’ll want to just eat it out of the bowl (confession on that in a sec). Whipped cream combined with creamy sweet mascarpone cheese and some sugar has the perfect sweet richness for this dessert.

Red White and Blue Berry Trifle - Bakerlady

Get ready for the confession. Here it comes. You are going to be so ashamed of me. I had the “butt” of the angel food cake and some of the mascarpone cream left over. And, I couldn’t help myself – I made a sandwich out of it. Slapped some berries in there. Mmmmm. Yeah. I have a problem with delicious food. I feel better now that I’ve gotten that off my chest. Thanks.

Red White and Blue Berry Trifle - Bakerlady

Bottom line. Make this. As soon as you can. Invite some people over, have a BBQ and let them all marvel at how gorgeous dessert is. They’ll be blown away when they realize it tastes even better than it looks!

Red White and Blue Berry Trifle - Bakerlady

 

Print Recipe for Red White and Blue Berry Trifle

Red, White and Blue Berry Trifle

One batch Vanilla Custard (recipe below)
1 package loaf angel food cake
1/2 cup Cointreau (or OJ)
3-4 cups mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
1 batch Mascarpone Cream (recipe below)

Directions

1. Make the Vanilla Custard and allow to cool 15 minutes. Begin assembling the angel food cake and the preparing the berries as the custard cools.
2. Cut angel food cake into slices (or shapes) and layer 1/3 in the bottom of a trifle dish.
3. Brush with Cointreau until just moistened.
4. Layer 1/4 of the berries over the cake.
5. Top with 1/3 of the custard.
6. Repeat layers twice. Angel food cake, Cointreau, berries and custard.
7. Finish with a layer of berries done in a design (or just load them on there).
8. Whip Maxcarpone Cream and layer (or pipe using a Ziploc bag) on top of the berries.
9. Refrigerate until ready to eat. This keeps very well overnight.


Vanilla Custard

from Allrecipes

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups  milk (I used non-fat, but you can use anything up to 2%)
4 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir constantly 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
  2. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in butter and vanilla.
  3. Cool for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to dessert dishes. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Mascarpone Cream
from Joy of Baking

1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
2/3 cup Mascarpone Cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Place the heavy whipping cream, mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.  Whip until soft peaks form.

White Almond Sour Cream Cake

This is the best “doctored” cake mix ever. It is incredibly versatile, suitable for all occasions, themes and tastes. I use it at every single birthday and absolutely love it. This cake is sturdy enough to stack a few high, but also has a light texture and deliciously rich taste.

I’ve used this cake for everything. Including, a racetrack…

Cars Cake [Read more…]

The “Everything is Awesome” Totally Amazing Lego Party!

If you have a child between the ages of 3 and 13, chances are, you’ve seen The Lego Movie and have endured enjoyed endless hours of “Everything is Awesome” being sung, hummed, whistled and generally trapped in your subconscious. My little rugrats can be found most days sprawled on the floor singing as they create masterful designs with their Legos. For my son’s 6th birthday, we went all out Lego awesomeness.

Everything Is Awesome Lego Cake - Bakerlady

Here’s the great big Lego party post including great (well, I think so anyway) free printables from me, the best cake and frosting recipe ever, and a round-up of the amazing things others have created that helped me pull of a party enjoyed by folks from ages 3-87.

Everything Is Awesome Lego Party Ideas

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Cranberry Upside Down Coffeecake

Confession. I’m a giant bookworm. It’s a condition that dates back to my early childhood. My parents have time-lapse video from Christmases long past where I don’t move from the same armchair for over 10 hours. I’m a constant figure as the room buzzes with holiday activity around me. Motionless, except the occasional turning of a page. My favorite place to be is completely engrossed in a great novel, oblivious to the world passing me by. As such, it’s no great surprise that I’ve always wanted to host a book club. I was recently given the opportunity to start one with friends, and I jumped at the chance. Books and my best gals? Win-win. Bonus prizes for me include the excuse to use my grandmother’s dainty teacups, and making delicious treats for my guests. I began with this amazing cranberry upside down coffeecake.

Cranberry Upside Down Coffeecake - Bakerlady

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Pumpkin Spice Deathcakes (Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting)

 

Spice cupcakes have been a Halloween tradition for me since childhood. These “deathcakes” are full of cinnamon and pumpkin topped with a glorious cream cheese frosting. Delicious.

Pumpkin Spice Deathcakes - Bakerlady

Love this recipe idea? Check out more Halloween party food on my Fabulously Freaky Halloween Fodder post. It’s full of devilish and delicious ideas!

Print Recipe for Pumpkin Spice Deathcakes

Pumpkin Spice Deathcakes
from Cake Central

1 box spice cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup water
1 cup sour cream
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Whisk together dry ingredients then add wet and beat on low speed for 2 minutes.
Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes. Makes about 36 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup of shortening
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter @ room temp
1 8oz bar cream cheese @ room temp
1 T vanilla extract
2 lbs shifted powder sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Directions

Cream together shortening, butter, and cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add vanilla into mixture and combine. Sift together sugar and salt, and slowly add to shortening, butter & cheese mixture. Make sure that all sugar is incorporated.

Mom’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake Perfection

My mother has been making this cake as long as I can remember. As a child, the thought of a vegetable baked into a cake was just supremely odd. Now I know that little flecks of zucchini melt into the chocolate batter making the texture and richness just perfect.

Mom's Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake Perfection - Bakerlady

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Plum Cake Bread

Great neighbors are hard to come by. I know someone (who shall remain nameless) who lives next to a family where the kids play a game called “Am I Being Murdered?”. An activity that’s such fun, it has to be enjoyed during every single hour of every single day. A jolly good time for the whole housing development I’m sure. On the other end of the spectrum are the good folks who reside just over the fence from me. Specifically the very talented gardener of the family, who delivers just picked fruit and vegetables to my greedy doorstep all summer long. I get nature’s bounty freely given with zero effort on my part. It’s simply divine. Just this week I’ve received zucchini, cucumber, apples (two kinds), and most delicious of all, plums. They arrive in bags and buckets. Fragrant, juicy, mildly tart and perfect.

Plum Cake Bread - Bakerlady

It didn’t take much convincing for my children to believe that plums are far better than candy. They have free reign to enjoy a succulent treat from the plum basket whenever they want. Both munchkins are now consistently a sticky mess of dribbly plum juice and I don’t even care.

Plum Cake Bread - Bakerlady
This recipe is a quick bread that tastes dangerously close to a cake. It’s sweetness and light with a hint of tart sprinkled throughout from the plums. Delicious. It would be perfect for a brunch, ladies tea, afternoon snack, or dessert. Basically, whenever you want to eat it, do.

Plum Cake Bread - Bakerlady

You can use yogurt instead of sour cream if that’s what you have handy. The batter is nice and thick so all those beautiful plum pieces won’t sink to the bottom of your bread. I also baked this in mini loaf pans as well as a 9-inch square cake pan. Both turned out with a perfect texture and golden crust. Just adjust your bake time accordingly. I started by baking about 30 minutes then checked on my cake bread every 5 minutes or so until it was done.

Plum Cake Bread - Bakerlady

Print Recipe For Plum Cake Bread

Plum Cake Bread
adapted from Allrecipes.com

1 cup pitted, chopped plums
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.
2. Sprinkle chopped plums with 1 tablespoon of flour in a bowl, and toss to coat. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter, white sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. In another bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cup of flour with salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, alternating with sour cream until the mixture forms a smooth batter. Lightly stir in the flour-coated plums, and pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the top of the batter with brown sugar.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool in the pan 10 to 15 minutes before removing from pan for slicing.

Happy National Cheesecake Day

I’m pretty sure food holidays were invented by bloggers. Who am I to complain? Happy National Cheesecake Day everyone! Celebrate with this velvety rich New York Cheesecake topped with bright fresh strawberries! Yuuuuuum!

New York Cheesecake - Bakerlady

Print Recipe for New York Cheesecake

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